Kenya: IFTEX 2024 breaks records

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The conclusion of the 11th and largest edition of the International Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX) in Nairobi, Kenya, marks a significant moment for the global floriculture industry. Held at the Visa Oshwal Center, the event showcased close to 200 growers and suppliers, highlighting the importance of Kenya as a hub for flower production and export. This expo not only provided a platform for Kenyan growers to connect with international buyers but also emphasized the growing demand for sustainable and ethically sourced flowers in the global market. The success of IFTEX underscores the vitality of the flower industry in Kenya, which plays a crucial role in the country’s economy through job creation and export earnings, with about 4 million people currently working in Kenya’s flower industry. “This year there has been a growth of about 25%, and we have close to 200 exhibitors, which is a huge growth. Among all exhibitors are many flower growers showing their new varieties for export,” says Dick van Raamsdonk, General Director of HPP Exhibitions. FloralDaily was present to make a photo report and to learn about the developments in the floral industry.

Click here for the photo report.

Teams of Yunique, MPS, Airflo and Interplant. Want to see more of the other exhibitors? Click here for the photo report.

The recent floods and extreme weather conditions in Kenya have posed significant challenges for local growers, showing the urgent need for sustainability in the floriculture sector. Chris Kulei, the Chairman of the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), said in his speech that these weather-related challenges are related to climate change, highlighting its impact on agriculture and specifically on the flower industry. This situation brings to light the critical importance of sustainable practices within the sector, not only to reduce the effects of climate change but also to ensure the long-term viability of the floriculture industry in Kenya.

IFTEX came at a good time, offering an ideal platform to discuss, share, and adopt sustainable practices. The expo focused on the importance of sustainability, showcasing innovations and strategies aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of flower farming and ensuring responsible water use.

The emphasis on sustainability at IFTEX reflects a growing awareness within the industry of the need to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. For Kenyan growers, who are among the world’s leading exporters of cut flowers, adopting sustainable practices is not only essential for protecting the environment but also for maintaining their competitive edge in the global market. As the industry moves forward, the lessons and discussions from this edition of IFTEX are likely to play an important role in shaping the future of flower farming in Kenya and beyond, with sustainability at the core of its growth and development.

Click here for the photo report.

New varieties
The expo showcased a notable trend among flower growers to diversify their product offerings, with a particular emphasis on summer flowers. The increase in energy prices, especially noted in the Netherlands, has led to a shift in the global floral trade. Growers in Kenya are now including flowers that are more cost-effective to grow locally, like chrysanthemums. These have emerged as a popular choice among Kenyan growers due to their lower energy requirements for cultivation compared to traditional greenhouse flowers. Alstroemerias, known for their vibrant colors and long vase life, were also prominently featured at IFTEX, alongside roses, which continue to be ever so popular in Kenya’s flower export.

First time
There were quite a few companies promoting their business for the first time at IFTEX, and for many it was a great success. One of the exhibitors mentions: “We are here promoting our export business for the first time, and we already have decided we will be back here next year. Many of our Middle Eastern clients are here as well, and it is a great opportunity for us to meet with them and show what we have.”

Next year’s IFTEX will again take place in the month of June, with the dates yet to be determined. The HPP Exhibitions team is already busy preparing for the IFTF in Vijfhuizen (the Netherlands), which will take place from Tuesday, November 5, through Thursday, November 7.

Click here for the photo report of IFTEX 2024.

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